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Postal Service Employees Protest Proposed Cuts

Daniella Segura |
March 24, 2013 | 8:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Protestors in Hollywood (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
Protestors in Hollywood (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
About 1,500 United States Postal Service employees and supporters gathered Sunday at the Hollywood post office to protest the Postmaster General’s proposal to cut mail delivery to five days a week, event coordinators said.

The rally was part of a national day of action that was meant to oppose planned cutbacks proposed by the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe last month. Some of the proposed cuts include ending Saturday mail delivery, as well as closing postal stations and facilities and the sale of operating post offices.

Congressional legal advisers have said the post office's proposal is illegal, but the situation is fluid.

Larry Brown, who is a chair on the National Association of Letter Carriers National Board of Trustees, spoke to the crowd before they began their walk around Hollywood and emphasized the importance of Congress maintaining six-day delivery.

“It was an act of Congress that got us into this fix,” Brown said, pausing. “It takes an act of Congress to get us out of this fix.”

Protestors, including groups of families, walked the streets of Hollywood chanting, “Five days? No way!” and wore navy blue shirts that read, “Don’t dismantle the postal service.” As protestors walked, passing cars honked to show their support and a bicyclist even blew his whistle to cheer on protestors.

Protestors said one of the reasons they decided to turn out Sunday was the potential loss of jobs.

Johnny Harris, the site leader for the rally in L.A., said 40,000 to 60,000 people could lose their jobs if the postal service switches to a five-day work week.

“I have a nephew who works for the post office and based on seniority he could lose his job,” Harris said. “Because once they start downsizing, they are going to start to cut based on seniority.”

Employees said the rally was about more than just protesting the proposed five-day work week. They said they wanted to implore Congress to act to better serve the American public.

Jessica Kamae, a letter carrier in Riverside, said customers have expressed their concerns about shifting to a five-day work week.

“Just yesterday a young lady walked up to me and asked are we still gonna deliver for six days, because she gets her paycheck in the mail on Saturdays,” Kamae said. “I assured her yes we are.”

Chris Jackson, a national business agent at NALC, said the proposal for a five-day work week affects not only postal employees.

“The postal service is just like apple pie or baseball to the American people,” Jackson said. “This will not just affect me. It will affect everybody.”

Congress passed a continuing resolution on March 6, 2013, which allows six-day delivery until the end of the postal fiscal year that ends in September. Congress and the Postal Service are currently discussing the fate of six-day delivery.

Reach reporter Daniella Segura here and follow her on Twitter here.



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